Redskins running back Larry Johnson was back in court in Kansas City Friday, and the presiding judge criticized Johnson for failing to comply with the terms of his probation and refusing to do the kind of community service the judge expected.
When Johnson was sentenced to 40 hours of court-ordered community service, that service was supposed to involve coaching children at the Kansas City Police Athletic League. But Johnson refused to play sports with the children and said he wanted to start an art program. For some reason he was credited with nine hours of community service, even though the art program was canceled when it didn’t draw enough students.
“Children who go to PAL don’t go there for art class,” Municipal Court Judge Joseph Locascio told Johnson, per the Kansas City Star. “The idea that you would draw pictures with kids who want to participate in athletics is absurd. If I knew you didn’t want to do sports with kids, I would have assigned you to pick up trash on the highway. That’s what we typically have defendants do.”
Although Locascio said he “puts people in jail every day for not doing community service,” he decided not to put Johnson in jail, even though the judge is disappointed with a lack of effort.
“For a young kid playing sports, the opportunity to have contact with an NFL player is once in a lifetime,” Locascio said. “That’s why I’m so disappointed here. I thought you were going to spend time with the kids, and apparently you’re not capable or interested in doing that.”
The prosecutor in the case said Johnson has committed several other violations of his probation. Those included failure to send monthly reports to his probation officer and failure to complete an appropriate anger management course.
Johnson is on probation as a result of two convictions for disturbing the peace in Kansas City bars in 2008, when Johnson played for the Chiefs. The convictions will be removed from his record if he completes his probation and community service requirements.